When a person is in need of immediate medical attention, it is only natural to go to a hospital’s emergency room. While emergency room medical professionals generally provide excellent care, due to the hurried nature of an emergency room and the volume of patients requiring care, it is possible that mistakes get made. This can be catastrophic for patients, particularly if they are discharged when they should have been admitted to the hospital. In the event of an emergency room error, the patient may be entitled to monetary damages.
What Types of Errors Happen in Emergency Rooms?
Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis can occur in emergency rooms due to the need to move quickly from patient to patient. Typical emergency room mistakes include:
- Failure to diagnosis heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or pulmonary embolism
- Failure to recognize signs and symptoms of respiratory distress
- Medication errors
- Misreading or misinterpreting radiology tests and laboratory values
- Discharging patients who have serious medical conditions
- Poor triage assessment
Who Can Be Held Liable in an Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Claim?
Standard medical malpractice rules apply to any doctors, nurses and other staff working in an emergency room. An injured patient must be able to prove negligence on the part of the emergency room staff member by showing that competent medical personnel would not have made the same mistakes under the same circumstances. Additionally, both sides in your emergency room malpractice case will hire expert witnesses to testify about what a competent medical professional would have done in the same situation.
Hospitals may also be liable for damages as the employer of the negligent medical professional. However, while a hospital is responsible for the actions of medical staff under their employment, many doctors work an independent contractors, and therefore the hospital may not be liable for their negligence. Generally, hospitals will add in their admissions forms that a doctor may not be employed by the hospital. In an emergency room situation, it may not be made clear to the patient that a doctor is an independent contractor. In this case, they hospital may be able to be held responsible for a doctor’s actions. In order to clarify whether or not a hospital should be held accountable for an emergency room doctor’s negligence, speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney from the law office of Wolf & Pravato.
What Damages Can I Receive in an Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Claim?
After an emergency room error, a patient can be left with ongoing medical issues that could have been prevented had he or she been treated properly. Sometimes, an emergency room error can lead to wrongful death. Emergency room medical malpractice damages may be available for:
- medical expenses — economic damages that include the cost of all treatments and care associated with the emergency room error, including ongoing care that may be required in the future;
- lost wages — economic damages due to actual monetary loss incurred because of missed work;
- pain, suffering and emotional distress — non-economic losses incurred due to mental anguish or ongoing emotional issues experienced due to the error; and
- wrongful death — if the emergency room mistake leads to the death of the patient, additional damages may be obtained in a Florida wrongful death action, including loss of companionship for family members
Ft. Lauderdale Emergency Room Malpractice Lawyers
Emergency room errors can leave a family with huge financial burdens. A patient can face more medical expenses than would have been necessary if he or she was properly treated the first time. Additionally, the patient may need to spend more time away from work. After a Fort Lauderdale-area emergency room error, the lawyers at Wolf & Pravato can help you to fight for the justice that the law affords you.
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- Mesothelioma Florida
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- Nursing Home Abuse Florida
- Products Liability Florida
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